HIV-infected patients have an increased risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), according to a recent study. Low nadir, but not current, CD4 cell count as a marker of immunosuppression was associated with an increased risk of SCC. In a matched, nationwide population-based cohort study, researchers compared the risk of skin cancer in 4,280 HIV-infected patients from an HIV cohort study with a background population cohort, according to the level of immunosuppression and route of transmission. They found:
- HIV-infected patients had an increased risk of BCC and SCC with incident risk ratios (IRRs) of 1.79 and 5.40, respectively, compared with the background population.
- There was no increased risk of malignant melanoma.
- Low nadir CD4 cell count was associated with an increased risk of SCC.
- The increased risk of BCC among HIV-infected patients was restricted to men who had sex with men.
Omland SH, Ahlström MG, Gerstoft J, et al. Risk of skin cancer in HIV-infected patients: A Danish nationwide cohort study. [Published online ahead of print March 26, 2018]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2018.03.024.